Dummies or pacifiers
Loathe them or love them, they have their place.
For some babies, dummies can be a life saver especially for sleep deprived parents.
However, comforting they may be, there will come a time for the dummy to go.
Some babies will make the transition easy while others it can be a long drawn out process.
Before thinking about removing their comforter we need to look at why your baby or toddler is needing one in the first place and whether that determines the way to remove it.
-It helps them settle when tired
-Helps them sleep
-They’ve grown attached to it and now it’s a habit
-May need it for health reasons
When is the best time to wean your little one off the dummy?
No time is the right time.
My best advice is, do what feels right for you and your baby.
Keeping in mind that when you decide it’s the right time, there is no turning back.
Once you have made the decision, follow through.
When not to wean
-Starting childcare or day care
-Moving into a new room or moving to a new house
-Times of emotional change in the family.
Keep it simple.
Out of sight out of mind – When the dummy is not being used then make sure it’s out of reach and not seen. If they can’t see it, they are less likely to want it.
Take your time- When they ask for it, take your time before giving it. If they are still young, then give yourself a bit more time to use it.
Avoid using “the WORD” – When they don’t hear it, they won’t associate. You can give it another name for your benefit. At a very early age they recognise the name “dummy”
Distraction is a great tool- Go for a walk, play a game, change the subject, watch a video or alternatively lots of cuddles.
Step by Step
Small steps at a time is sometimes easier to manage but can take longer.
-Choose a time of day that is easy for both you and bubs.
-Introduce other times of the day when you’re ready.
-Keep it up for at least 3-4 days to get results.
-Replace the dummy with something else.
Important to remember that once you start there is no going back.
Some babies (and parent) do better with a cold turkey approach. This approach might be bit more challenging but will have a faster, shorter result.
Here are ways to manage cold turkey.
-It’s lost- can’t find it anywhere – Works better for older children and while there might be tears, it’s short lived.
-You are all grown up now – Again better for older children. Make it a joint decision such as a birthday or a milestone to remove it.
-Reward system – Bribery does have its place. A reward system to encourage their positive approach now that their comforter is gone.
Make sure everyone in the family and extended family is on board with whatever weaning process you take.
No dummy at home, means no dummy at grandmas.
Here is some advice from other mums.
“We had the dummy fairy come and collected ALL of them up to give to the fairy. She got a few lolly pops to suck from the fairy in return. She was 2.5 and could understand what was happening”
“I cut the tip off my sons dummy, and he threw it in the bin himself and never asked for it again”
“It was Christmas, so we boxed them up for Santa to take away to give to other babies, when he visited that night. Santa took them and gave her extra wrapped presents in the box in return for the dummies. Never asked for them again”
“Mr 19months threw his in the toilet last week I saw the opportunity to try get rid of it for good, so we gave it a shot and it worked. I said, ‘ewe yuck’ and took it to the rubbish showed him and said ‘bye bye shushies’ he took 45 minutes of settling…”
“We removed it at 4 months as it was disrupting his sleep – it took about two nights of us patting him to sleep and then he started sucking his fingers. I think doing it early was the trick.”